Supporting children with burns injuries in Cambodia

It is estimated that there are as many as 2,000 burn deaths each year in Cambodia, and more than 30,000 people sustain serious or life-threatening burn injuries: two thirds of whom are children.

Open fires are everywhere in rural villages and electrical equipment is all too often hazardously installed — resulting in as many as 30,000 serious and life-threatening burn injuries each year. The poorest children who survive accidents are often left with disfiguring and disabling injuries, in a country where there are few resources to help them.

Our trusted partner, IMPACT Cambodia, works alongside Dr Sarom, plastic surgeon and head of the Burns Unit in Preah Ketu Mealea Hospital, referring patients from remote communities to receive life transforming operations and the follow up care they need.

Orn Sina, aged 11, has undergone a series of procedures to restore the movement to her right hand, which was injured in a fire when she was three.  During a week-long stay in hospital she has had burn contractures to her index, middle and ring finger released; special stainless steel pins inserted (K wires) fitted and a full skin graft. Her fingers have been successfully restored to ‘normal’ position. 

Orn was able to receive life transforming surgery with help from generous UK supporters. Such treatment was far beyond the reach of her parents Vanak and Ma Yat, who are farmers from Svay Rieng Province.

Patients usually stay in the hospital for up to 10 days following surgery. This is to ensure that dressings are changed, and the patient is monitored closely and can be checked upon for signs of infection or other medical issues. This also means they are provided with care and nourishing food which can help speed up the recovery process.

You can watch a short film about this vital work here.